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Dr. John Bandler, OC

Professor Emeritus

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering

Space mapping; exploitation of engineering surrogates; optimization technologies for engineering modeling and design; modeling and electromagnetics-based design optimization of devices, circuits and systems in the radio-frequency, wireless, and microwave arenas; technical and nontechnical presentation and communication skills; 3MT; three minute thesis; awareness and creativity
Areas of Specialization:
Research Clusters:


John Bandler, OC, FRSC, FCAE, LFIEEE, FEIC, P.Eng. pioneered optimization technologies for engineering modeling and design, including modeling and electromagnetics-based design optimization of devices, circuits and systems in the radio-frequency, wireless, and microwave arenas. His company Optimization Systems Associates Inc. was acquired by Hewlett-Packard Company in 1997.

Bandler pioneered space mapping technology in 1993. Space mapping has since been adopted into design portfolios across the entire spectrum of engineering. It enables optimal, high-fidelity design of devices, circuits and systems at a cost of only a few high-fidelity simulations. It offers an explanation for the engineer's traditional "feel" for a problem; it is in accord with everyday experience and with modern thinking in human evolution, cognition, and neuroscience. To that end Bandler coined the expression "cognition-aided design" for CAD (as distinct from "traditional" computer-aided design). IEEE Microwave Magazine honoured him by reprinting in 2018 his 2013 IEEE Canadian Review article on space mapping. Further developments and a vision for the future is offered in his co-authored paper invited for the inaugural issue of the new open access IEEE Journal of Microwaves, January 2021.

Bandler has spoken widely on technical and non-technical issues, and has mentored numerous candidates for technical and science-based presentations, including the Three Minute Thesis competition


B.Sc.(Eng.), Ph.D., D.Sc.(Eng.) (University of London); ACGI, DIC (Imperial College of Science and Technology)

Did you know…

Active in artistic endeavours, Dr. Bandler has written, produced and directed stage plays for the Hamilton Fringe Festival. See his website and his YouTube channel.

Since 2015, he coached and mentored hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students university-wide for various speaking competitions, including the McMaster University Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition.

With mathematician Erin M. Kiley, he spearheaded and organized the first ever Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition for students and young professionals at the IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium (IMS), Honolulu, HI, June 2017. Read about it here. McMaster's Daniel Tajik won both the First Place and Audience Choice Awards. The competition continued in Philadelphia in 2018 and in Boston in 2019; expanding to include three co-located conferences and, instead of in Los Angeles, going "virtual" in 2020. YouTube playlists: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021.

In 2018, with Ian Bruce, he spearheaded the first ever McMaster University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering 3MT®. The 2018 videos hosted by the School of Graduate Studies include the awards video. 3MT® has is now required for graduate students in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The 2019 final videos are hosted by the Faculty of Engineering.

In 2020/21 and 2021/22 the department 3MT presentations were online. Here are selected videos: Aug. 2020, Dec. 2020, Apr. 2021, Aug. 2021, Dec. 2021, Apr. 2022.


John W. Bandler (S’66–M’66–SM’74–F’78–LF’06) studied at Imperial College of Science and Technology, London, England, and received the B.Sc.(Eng.), Ph.D., and D.Sc.(Eng.) degrees from the University of London, England, in 1963, 1967, and 1976, respectively.

He joined McMaster University, Canada, in 1969. He has served as Chairman of his department and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering. He is now a Professor Emeritus. He founded Optimization Systems Associates Inc. in 1983 and sold it to Hewlett-Packard in 1997. He is President of Bandler Corporation, Dundas, Ontario, Canada.

He has published more than 500 technical papers and contributions to books, and pioneered space mapping technology in 1993.

Bandler is an engineer, entrepreneur, innovator, researcher, artist, speaker, and author of fiction, including stage plays. He wrote and directed That The Multitude May Live, which can be seen on his YouTube, channel along with other examples of his theatrical work. His most recently performed play is Christmas Eve at the Julibee Motel. Some of his talks, including his 2014 TEDx McMaster U talk, are available on the internet.

He is a Fellow of several societies, including the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Engineering. In 2004, he received the IEEE MTT-S Microwave Application Award. In 2012, he received the IEEE Canada McNaughton Gold Medal and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2013, he received the IEEE MTT-S Microwave Career Award. In 2014, he received McMaster University’s Faculty of Engineering Research Achievement Award.

In 2016, he was appointed to Officer of the Order of Canada for his scientific contributions that have helped to position Canada at the forefront of microwave engineering.

In 2018, he received McMaster University's Lifetime Innovator Award.

Also in 2018, Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) and Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) honoured him with their OPEA Gold Medal.

He speaks widely on creativity, creative thinking, ethics, entrepreneurship, awareness, setback and conflict, and presentation skills; and has coached and mentored many individuals for public presentations competitions. He co-organized the first ever 3MT® competition at the IEEE International Microwave Symposium in 2017, an event continued in Philadelphia in 2018 and in Boston in 2019; expanding to include three co-located conferences and, instead of in Los Angeles, going "virtual" in 2020. See the playlists on YouTube: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021.



José E. Rayas-Sánchez, Slawomir Koziel, and John W. Bandler (2021)

Advanced RF and Microwave Design Optimization: A Journey and a Vision of Future Trends

In this paper, we outline the historical evolution of RF and microwave design optimization and envisage imminent and future challenges that will be addressed by the next generation of optimization developments.

J.W. Bandler, R.M. Biernacki, Shao Hua Chen, P.A. Grobelny, and R.H. Hemmers (1994)

Space mapping technique for electromagnetic optimization

We offer space mapping (SM), a fundamental new theory to circuit optimization utilizing a parameter space transformation.

John Bandler (2022), "This is the first journal paper to reveal the exciting space mapping technique that would revolutionize the way a wide variety of complex engineerng design optimization problems would be conceived and solved.

J.W. Bandler, R.M. Biernacki, S.H. Chen, R.H. Hemmers, and K. Madsen (1995)

Aggressive space mapping for electromagnetic design

We propose a new aggressive Space Mapping strategy for electromagnetic (EM) optimization... it exploits every available EM analysis using the classical Broyden update producing dramatic results right from the first step.

John Bandler (2022), "This is the first journal paper to announce the aggressive space mappping technique, one of the most effective strategies for optimization of computionally intensive engineering designs."


Click here for a link to John Bandler's publications.

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